Hey Parents - Difficult child

Urban Chaos

8 Years
Feb 9, 2011
Hey all,

I need help. My 5 yr old is so obstinate. I'm not sure how much this has to do with his personality or the fact that when he was younger (like 6mo to 3yrs) when he cried the would pass out - fall down, lips blue and pee his pants. Because of the passing out spells we would try and do anything to stop him from crying. But now, he is defiant with everything, has to disagree and constantly pestering his 10 and 3yr old brothers. I'm afraid that if I dont nip this in the bud he is going to get worse and no just disrespect me and my husband, but end up in serious trouble. Any ideas??
Has he been to the doctor to be evaluated as far as having anything that may factor to cause this behavior? I would confirm on the medical side before coming up with an approach to address as that would definitely be a crucial part of dealing with things and how best to handle with him...
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I agree 100%.....

I can only imagine how stressfull this is for you.
Did you have him check out for the episodes? Sounds like a seizure My DH has them. Stress can bring one on. Maybe he needs to be on seziure meds. You cant let him get by with everything as this will only get worse. Does he still do it? If not get on the ball with some good old fashion disipline. Most importnat is to set limits and let him know what is expected of him. I have 5 children all grown now, but I can probably count on 1 hand how many times they actually got a swat, Most times I would just have to give what my oldest DD calls the devil look and they would stop.
Yes, we had him evaluated - EEG and physical - no signs of epilepsy or seizure disorder. Dr's said it is "Breath holding spells" BHS, and that he would grow out of it and he did. So the passing out spells are no longer an issue, its his attitude towards everything and everybody. Its like he HAS to disagree with everything. He really likes to push buttons to the point where it is disrupting our family. I know he is only 5, but I'm afraid if I'm unable to gain a foothold on his behavior he will just get harder and harder to handle.

As far as discipline, nothing has worked - time out, taking away items/privleges, spankings...he laughs, sits in time out then gets up and does whatever over again etc...
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Hmmmm...sounds like he'd be a good lawyer...

I really used to do the following so I'm not joking like the first sentence; when my son would throw a fit, I would take hold of him by his ankle(s) and hold him upside down for a little while. I think it gives them a different 'perception' , and, gets more blood to the head so they can think a little better. I don't know if it works on everybody, but it did on my child. I think I did it until he was about 8 yrs. old...

And for all or you about to report me to Child Protective Services, he is 26 yrs old now and none the worse for it; a pretty good guy if I do say so myself...
I know this sounds odd, but is there something he'd like, something he's willing to work for? Something he'd have to be on good behavior for say X number of days, after which he's earned it?

My son can be difficult, loves to disagree, annoy his sister, and harsher punishments just made the outbursts worse. We tried giving him goals to work for and so far it has been successful. We made a chart of the days involved - first we started with one week, then 2 weeks, then 1 month, and kept increasing the time needed to get something he was interested in. At the end of each day he would get a sticker until the chart was full. Hope that makes sense.
Still working on this with my now 8 year old. The one thing that has worked is not being tucked in at night... I get her ready for bed and put her in her bed and then no kisses or hugs. As for laughing about the consequence or privilege you took away, it does matter to him, he is just trying to convince YOU that it doesn't matter. Be firm and consistent. You could make a consequence jar (no tv tonight, no video games, whatever you think) and each time he needs a consequence, he picks something out of the jar. You can even have him participate in some (reasonable) consequence choices. Good luck, but now is the time to work this out.
I cannot recommend the book series "Love and Logic" enough. There are different books for different age groups in the series.



The first link is for younger children up to age 6, and the second book is a general one. I recommend both of them.

A friend recommended them to me when my oldest was around 3 or so. The discipline method we were using was NOT working. I was at wits' end. I was frustrated. I was getting nowhere with obedience, and was really angry inside over it.

After following the procedure outlined in the books, I could just rest, regardless of what my child did. It takes the load off you. All of the procedures in the book must be followed (vocalized) with LOVE, however, and you just have to watch yourself that you don't fall into a snippy tone of voice.
We are doing something similar to this. We are dealing with a middle child "Syndrome" and we started just this week, that if he fulfills all the expectations we have for him each day, then he gets a sticker, and then he gets a reward, like one on one time with either myself or my husband. Right now he is working on getting to go to Scout Camp with his dad next weekend. We are focusing on the good behavior vs. the bad behavior. It seems to be working.

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